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A farewell to arms

The next government should save the armed forces—and leave weapons makers to sink or swim

By Lewis Page   November 2009

ABOVE: A British arms industry exhibition in London

Britain’s next government will be forced to reduce spending. But given the wide agreement that these cuts should not affect the NHS or social security, the smallish departments, like the ministry of defence (responsible for about 5 per cent of spending) seem the likely targets. A 10 per cent cut at the MoD (some £4bn a year), is on the cards. At the same time, the main political parties agree that the 1998 strategic defence review (SDR), still the main guide to policy, also needs rewriting.

This worries many in the…

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